Breast cancer took the life of my aunt, leaving behind her four children.
Breast cancer also took the breast of my grandmother, who still went on to live one of the fullest lives I’ve known—her legacy to this day is inspiring.
Breast cancer is here, when my breasts hurt or feel unusual, “Is that a bump?” and the worry begins.
I’m not sure a cure for cancer will be found, one can hope, but I can make a prevention promise to myself and my two daughters that I don’t overload my life with worry.
The best ways possible for me to live a very heart-filled life.
1. Allow my heart to experience the scary feelings of vulnerability, loneliness and even disconnection.
I want to remind myself and my heart that vulnerability means being open, that being scared is an invitation to be more courageous and I’m never truly disconnected. After all, my heart is within my body and a hug from a family member reminds me of that instantly.
I make a promise to not suppress scary emotions somewhere inside my body, and instead allow time and space to process them, and hopefully purge the fuckers out of my body.
2. I promise to enjoy life and all that if offers.
I promise to enjoy great coffee and even better wine. I won’t let a piece of bacon ruin my day and I will not eat kale because its good for me— will eat kale baked crispy with lots of olive oil because that’s how I like it. I also promise to eat delicious chocolate in bed, on Sunday because I want to, damnit.
3. If my husband neglects to take the garbage out, I know our marriage isn’t ruined.
And if we fight (it happens sometimes) I will continue to love him generously through it. Even better, I will make a promise to fight naked as it’s very hard to stay angry that way.
Try it, you’ll see!
4. I promise not to berate myself when I shout at the kids or make mistakes or teach a shitty yoga class (that also happens).
Instead I will forgive myself, hug and kiss my kids, make a vow to teach a better class, make a cup of tea, be accountable for my mistakes, be loving towards myself and move on.
5. I promise to keep practicing yoga because it keeps me sane.
It helped me heal old wounds and trauma. It gave me an understanding of the importance of life in it’s entirety, through the awfulness and the wonderfulness. I’m healthy because of my committement to the practice of yoga and process of it, which has taught me that life is a journey and we get to decide how to make the most of it.
6. I promise to whisper sweet nothings to the moon, pause to smell roses, to walk barefoot often, to gaze at starry skies, hug and love my family a lot and sit against a tree and do nothing but breathe.
I promise to swim in the ocean and be a mermaid, to be so quiet so I can tune into the beat of my breast and the tune of my heart—to listen, listen, listen.
7. I promise to nourish my heart—which sits between both breasts—with my words and through my actions.
I will not hide behind fear and instead will courageously share myself with the world, as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, yoga teacher, designer, explorer, adventurer, priestess and revolutionary.
What hurts my heart the most is not believing in myself and my abilities.
Also when I doubt the heart’s power to love, heal and forgive.
It’s time to move on, let that doubt go and step into absolute fullness of the Heart. Go on, get mushy with love, get cheesey with love and smile that radiant love out from within.
What’s your prevention project? The only way we can support one another is by becoming more clear how we can live more engaged lives.
Daub and Design is offering a portion off their amazing pants for breast cancer awareness. Check it out, it’s one small way to give back.
Give it a think, let me know or share with a friend. It will make you feel better, I promise.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: Marc Holzman, author’s own